Re: And, why?
Date: 10-17-2020 - 09:49
Are you the real BOB2? You sound so reasonable this morning!
The issue with human CO2 emissions is fossil fuels - coal, oil, and yes, natural gas when mined rather than collected from cow farts and garbage. They are "sequestered" carbon from millions of years ago that, as we now burn them, release that CO2 back into the atmosphere. It's not a large % of total CO2 emissions, but it's completely excess to what happens from natural processes. In effect, it's equivalent to a Large Igneous Province's CO2 emissions, which when they happened in the (geologic) past also caused big heat spikes and mass extinctions. And that was with emissions that happened over a geologic timeframe not a couple hundred years. So yes, humans have changed and continue to change the climate.
Was the climate hotter back then, when the now-fossil fuels were created by burying a lot of organic material (i.e. plants, animals, etc.)? Yes. But it wasn't hotter any time that humans were around. So "hotter" is natural. How quickly it gets hotter is the real issue. Most of what's living at the moment is adapted to ice age conditions - cooler and warmer, but not hot. If a Large Igneous Province was causing this, it would take thousands to hundreds of thousands of years to warm up. We're doing it over the course of a few hundred. That's the disaster part of this: most species can't adapt that quickly to a large and, for practical purposes, permanent (lasting for thousands to tens of thousands of years once the fossil fuels are gone) change in conditions - possibly including humans. The "business as usual" scenario of continued increase in fossil fuel use will produce Eocene thermal maximum conditions within about 200 years. Hint: that was way before humans appeared, let alone had a civilization.
So is the sky falling? Absent a big meteor nobody sees coming, no. The Earth will abide, and there will still be life. But we're doing a good job of making sure it won't include us, and most of the animals and many of the plants we live with. Bring on the Apocalypse!
And Happy Saturday to all!
BTW, EVs are actually quite nice (I finally bought one, used). Since cars (including EVs) spend most of their time standing still, charging at home (yes, I live in the 'burbs, not in an apartment) is quite practical. And while the classic advice is to charge overnight (most utilities, including mine, offer discounts to encourage that), charging during the day to use some of that solar peak might actually be better. Overnight power is base load, which in the absence of nukes is mostly from large fossil-fueled (mostly natural gas in California, and getting that way in the places CA imports power from) power plants.